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Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that, The man o' independent mind,
He looks an' laughs at a' that.
25 A prince can mak a belted knight,
But an honest man's aboon2 his might-
30 Their dignities, an' a' that,
The pith o' sense, and pride o' worth,
Then let us pray that come it may,
35 That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,
It's comin yet for a' that,
That man to man, the world o'er, Shall brithers be for a' that!
My plaidie to the angry airt,5
I'd shelter thee, I'd shelter thee.
5 Or did misfortune's bitter storms
Around thee blaw, around thee blaw, Thy bield should be my bosom,
To share it a', to share it a'.
Or were I in the wildest waste,
Sae black and bare, sae black and bare, The desert were a paradise,
If thou wert there, if thou wert there. Or were I monarch of the globe,
Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to reign,
15 The brightest jewel in my crown
Wad be my queen, wad be my queen.
0, LAY THY LOOFT IN MINE, LASS
But now he is my deadly fae,1 Unless thou be my ain.
There's monie a lass has broke my rest, 10 That for a blink I hae lo'ed best; But thou art queen within my breast, Forever to remain.
The following trifles are not the production of the poet, who, with all the advantages of learned art, and, perhaps, amid the elegancies and idlenesses of 5 upper life, looks down for a rural theme, with an eye to Theocritus or Virgil. To the author of this, these and other celebrated names (their countrymen) are, at least in their original language, "a fountain shut up, and a book sealed." Unacquainted with the necessary requisites for commencing poet2 by rule, he sings the sentiments and manners he felt and saw in himself and his rustic compeers around him, in his and their native language. Though a rhymer from his earliest years, at least from the earliest impulses of the softer passions, it was not till very lately that the applause, perhaps the partiality, of friendship, wakened his vanity so far as to make him think any thing of his was worth showing; and none of the following works were composed with a view to the press. To amuse himself with the little creations of his own fancy, amid the toil and fatigues of a laborious life; to transcribe the various feelings, the loves, the griefs, the hopes, the fears, in his own breast; to find some kind of counterpoise 30 to the struggles of a world, always an alien scene, a task uncouth to the poetical mind; these were his motives for courting the Muses, and in these he found poetry to be its own reward.
Now that he appears in the public character of an author, he does it with fear and trembling. So dear is fame to the rhyming tribe, that even he, an obscure, nameless bard, shrinks aghast at the 40 thought of being branded as "An imper